"Pro-Russia ex-PM shakes up Slovakian politics with leftist party victory"slovakianpolitics,pro-russia,ex-pm,leftistparty,victory
"Pro-Russia ex-PM shakes up Slovakian politics with leftist party victory"

“Pro-Russia ex-PM shakes up Slovakian politics with leftist party victory”

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Pro-Russia Ex-PM Leads Leftist Party to Win in Slovakia’s Parliamentary Elections

Date: October 1, 2023


Robert Fico addressing the results of the parliamentary elections in Slovakia

Chairman of Smer-Social Democracy party Robert Fico, center, adresses the results of an early parliamentary election during a press conference in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023.
Credit: Darko Bandic/AP


In a surprising turn of events, Slovakia’s early parliamentary elections have been won by the populist former prime minister, Robert Fico, and his leftist party, Smer-Social Democracy. Fico’s victory comes after a campaign focused on a pro-Russian and anti-American message, attracting voters who favor the far-right. With no party securing a majority, a coalition government will need to be formed. Fico is expected to become prime minister again, given the president’s tradition of asking the election’s winner to form a government. This election result has significant implications for Europe and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Fico’s Political Comeback and Election Results

Former Prime Minister Robert Fico and his party, Smer-Social Democracy, captured 22.9% of the votes and won 42 seats in the 150-seat Parliament, according to the Slovak Statistics Office. Fico’s campaign, considered aggressive and the most radical of his career, successfully attracted voters who lean towards far-right ideologies. This unexpected electoral success marks a political comeback for Fico, who previously served as prime minister from 2006 to 2010 and again from 2012 to 2018.

Implications for Europe and Ukraine

Slovakia’s election results have significant implications for Europe and the ongoing war in Ukraine. Fico’s victory could strain the fragile unity within the European Union (EU) and NATO. He has vowed to withdraw Slovakia’s military support for Ukraine in Russia’s war if his return to power succeeds. This stands in stark contrast to the country’s previous unwavering support for Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in 2022. Slovakia has played a crucial role in supporting Ukraine, providing arms, opening borders for refugees, and delivering military equipment.

Slovakia’s shift in position, especially if followed by other countries with skeptical or populist parties, could tip the balance of popular opinion away from Kyiv and towards Moscow. Germany, France, and Spain, among others, are examples of countries with upcoming elections where populist parties skeptical of intervention in Ukraine have significant support. Winning approval for sending more arms to Ukraine is becoming increasingly challenging in many countries, including the United States.

Possible Coalition Government and Fico’s Proposals

With no party winning a majority, a coalition government will be necessary in Slovakia. Fico has expressed his readiness to open talks with other parties on forming such a coalition. The small central European country faces the possibility of Fico’s coalition government coming into power, which could affect the country’s course and alignment in significant ways. Critics of Fico’s return to power highlight concerns that Slovakia could follow the path of Hungary under Prime Minister Viktor Orbán or the Law and Justice party in Poland, deviating from democratic norms and adopting more nationalist and authoritarian rhetoric.

Fico opposes the EU sanctions on Russia and questions whether Ukraine can force out the invading Russian troops. He advocates for using the EU and the U.S.’s influence to facilitate a compromise peace deal between Russia and Ukraine instead of sending arms to Kyiv. Fico’s rhetoric aligns with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unsupported claim that the Ukrainian government runs a Nazi state, despite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Jewish heritage and personal losses in the Holocaust.

Despite Fico’s victory and his proposed policies, the election also saw the emergence of the Progressive Slovakia party, a liberal and pro-West newcomer, which secured second place. Its leader, Michal Simecka, has expressed respect for the election results but voiced concern about the implications of Fico creating a government. Simecka stated that if Fico fails to form a government, he would be open to attempting to create a governing coalition.

Conclusion and Advice

Slovakia’s parliamentary elections and the victory of Robert Fico’s leftist party have sparked debate and concern about the future direction of the country. Fico’s pro-Russian and anti-American stance, along with his potential coalition partners, raises questions about Slovakia’s relationship with Ukraine and its alignment within the EU. The election outcome serves as a reminder of the growing influence of populist ideologies throughout Europe.

As Slovakia navigates the formation of a coalition government, it is crucial for leaders to carefully evaluate the potential consequences of their policies, particularly with regard to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Maintaining steadfast support for Ukraine and democratic values is essential for the stability of the region and the cohesion of the EU. It is also imperative for other European countries to closely monitor the situation and engage in open dialogue to prevent further polarization within the Union.


"Pro-Russia ex-PM shakes up Slovakian politics with leftist party victory"
<< photo by Mahammad Babashov >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

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Hannah McKenzie

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